I don’t play werewolf just because I love it. I play it because it builds community.
I played many games of Werewolf at the recent MeeGo Conference, and I talked about it in my conference wrap up post, but I wanted to also repackage it into a community manager tip because I think people underestimate the importance of games as community building tools.
Werewolf is one of those games that I really like to bring to conferences because it gives people a chance to get to know each other. It gives the quiet guy who doesn’t really know anyone something to do and an excuse to meet new people, and it puts people on a level playing field where the company executive, the university student and the internet famous are all equal as werewolves and villagers. It gives people something in common to start a conversation while they learn enough about each other to find other things in common. Many of us tend to talk to the people we already know, which keeps us in our own little friend bubbles that can seem cliquey even when not intended to be. Werewolf is an excuse to talk to people that we don’t know and otherwise might not have met. Unlike those other team building and conference games, people really seem to enjoy werewolf.
A few tips to get you started:
- Start a game the first or second night of the event.
- Print up special cards for the event and make extra decks to give away. This allows anyone to start a game later in the week.
- Encourage new moderators to spread the load and introduce new variations of the game.
- Memories of a Dead Seer: Werewolf at Foocamp08!
- Werewolf: How To and Why
- Werewolf: How a parlour game became a tech phenomenon
Part of a series of community manager tips blog posts.
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